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Development reported in Newtown bollards saga

Story by Tom Shiel

Friday, 13th April, 2018 12:24pm

Development reported in Newtown bollards saga

AN approach is to be made to the management of the Educate Together primary school at Newtown, Castlebar, to have a bollard which is blocking unauthorised vehicular access to the centre removed during school holidays.

The presence of the bollard, which is locked in place and can be removed as necessity demands, was criticised at a meeting of Castlebar Municipal District.

Three councillors, Michael Kilcoyne (Ind), Blackie Gavin (FF) and Frank Durcan (Ind), spoke on the issue, claiming that local businesses at Newtown are affected as customers who previously utilised parking spaces near the school - formerly Marsh House - can no longer do so.

John McHale, head of Castlebar Municipal District, reported back to a meeting  that he had investigated the situation and found it was part of the planning conditions for the new school that a bollard be kept in place.

There was a park and stride policy in operation, with pupils being walked to the school from nearby carparks, Mr. McHale reported.

However, Councillor Kilcoyne said that was not his interpretation of the planning decision.

He explained that he did not see the purpose of the bollard being in place during school holidays. Mr. McHale responded that he saw the councillor's point and he would have no problem following his suggestion up.

Councillor Durcan claimed a public carpark was affected and a traditional right of way for the use of the public.

A public right of way could not be extinguished without going through the legal process, the councillor stated.

John Condon, acting director of services: We didn't extinguish a public right of way.

Councillor Durcan: As far as the public are concerned you did.

Mr. Condon: The existing right of way continues. It has not been interfered with. If agreement can be reached, as has been suggested, on removing the bollards at holiday times that can be done.

Following further discussion, it was agreed that an approach be made to Educate Together requesting the removal of the bollard during school holidays.

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